State Rep.: Legislature Lazy, “Too Stupid to Work Together”
State Representative Barry Ivey had his Bulworth moment on Wednesday.
Rep. Ivey (R-Central) put political niceties aside and lit into his colleagues, accusing them of putting political agendas ahead of the needs of the people and of trying to protect their own power instead of giving the state's residents a fair shake at the polls.
Rep. Ivey's remarks came moments after the House tabled his Supreme Court of Louisiana redistricting proposal. That proposal would have added a second majority-minority district. A committee advanced the bill by a 10-7 vote. The House tabled the bill with little discussion. Under House rules, a motion to table a bill on the floor cannot be debated.
That vote caused the third-term representative to reach his breaking point. Immediately after the vote, Rep. Ivey returned to the House floor and gave an eight-and-a-half minute speech. During that speech, Rep. Ivey ripped into his colleagues, how they conduct business, and how they have ignored the wants of the people who elected them to office.
“You look at every bill that passed in this last year, what you’ll find is if it wasn’t backed by deep-pocket, corporate special interests, it didn’t have much of shot,” Rep. Ivey said during his speech. He added that he would not proposed any new legislation for the rest of the year, saying that he was tired of dealing with the legislature's "B. S."
“Politics is the distraction in our nation and in the state," Rep. Ivey said. "And what’s the price that we pay? Our children’s future. We’re content with that because it’s about me. It’s about my district. It’s about keeping the status quo. That’s the most failed status quo in the nation because we don’t want to upset the apple cart.”
Towards the end of his speech, Rep. Ivey directed his harshest words towards his colleagues.
“I’ve told people this institution is the laziest group of people I’ve ever worked with because it’s true, because we’ve got problems everywhere, and we don’t want to solve them,” Rep. Ivey said.
That remark caught the ire of Rep. Mark Wright (R-Covington), who asked House Speaker Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzalez) for a point of order immediately after Rep. Ivey made his comment. Rep. Wright was the person who made the motion to table Rep. Ivey's bill.
Rep. Lance Harris (R-Alexandria) took the floor after Rep. Ivey completed his speech. Rep. Harris's remarks earned the ire of House Democrats, including members of the Black Caucus.
“Life does not give you what you want," Rep. Harris told his colleagues. "It gives you what you deserve."
Rep. Kenny Cox (D-Natchitoches) stood to object to Rep. Harris's remarks, asking if Black Louisiana residents deserved only one minority-majority district despite making up one-third of the state's population.
Rep. Harris responded by saying his comment was a general life lesson everyone needs to learn.